A Poem in Response to 'Regeneration' by Henry Vaughan

When Vaughn wrote regeneration, he discussed a spiritual enlightenment mainly to do with discovering faith. While to me this idea is true, I believe regeneration also is about the discovery that you can be enlightened alone: finding happiness from love of the self. You can find the original poem here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/50440/regeneration-56d22d8fa412b

Spring slowly starts to surface,

While within the sharp cold persists.


As he moves further away the sound of falling tears grows stronger

They make music; a song of pain, suffering, beauty.

I wallow in the water, watching him

Dance through my flood. The

Splashes from his now dirty feet muddying

Waters we worked to keep so clean.


Winter’s surly winds lift up the thousands of

Shattered shards of my frosted heart;

Like smoke they feed my eyes, my lungs, my head

Leaving me weary and heavy.


He storms on, only the clouds from rough footsteps remaining.

I lie in the puddles he left behind giving time for my senses to greet

One another; hushed cries intertwined with damp hair stained by

Hot tears. My mind restless, my body aching for his touch.


Such sweetness came from that poison;

His fingers, his breath, his lips

Flames alighting my skin till I lay

Burned out.

All I feel is the cold left behind.


With eyes firmly closed I don’t see the bed of flowers beginning to

Bloom. A new spring tentatively approaches, bringing with it

New warmth. Real warmth. My ship lost in the ocean need not

Struggle to stay afloat for much longer as land is drawing closer.


Hearing a new voice I awaken.

Her words are soft, familiar, telling me of a regeneration

And of a returning of life to my limp soul.

Her cooing like a cloud eclipsing my mind drawing me

Upwards. Words of promise, of restoration, and of hope.


“While the sharp cold within persists,

Spring will slowly start to surface once again”.


*Illustration by Petra Wonham*

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